Two confirmed cases and one suspect case of Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera) infection associated with contaminated heater-cooler devices (HCD) used in cardiac surgery have been diagnosed in New South Wales. One additional case has been diagnosed in Queensland and more than 70 patients have been diagnosed worldwide. The first case was recognised in 2012 in Switzerland, with Germany, Netherlands, England and USA also affected. All of the NSW cases (confirmed and suspected) had aortic valve prostheses inserted at Prince of Wales Hospital in 2015.
Friends and colleagues of Sue Dixon were saddened to hear of her passing in August 2016 after a short illness.
The ASM congratulates Professor Lyn Gilbert who was made an AO (Officer of The Order of Australia) on Australia Day for her distinguished service to medical research, particularly the study of infectious disease prevention and control, to tertiary education as an academic, and to public health policy. Lyn is a former president of ASM who has made many important contributions our Society, most recently by creating the Lyn Gilbert Award for diagnostic microbiology.
Joan Faoagali was well known in the Australian Microbiology community, after initially qualifying in Dunedin and then moving to Australia, serving as Director of Microbiology at Christchurch Hospital in NZ and then the Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra Hospitals in Queensland. She held multiple adjunct academic appointments, including Griffith University, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology, and was RCPA Queensland State Councillor and later RCPA Chief Examiner in Microbiology.
In Adelaide and as a partnership with National Science Week, there is a major event, the science fair - Science Alive!. This was held in 2016 at the Adelaide Showgrounds across three days, Friday 5th August and Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August. This exhibits various aspects of science and technology to the community (Friday being a careers day for high school students and Saturday and Sunday is opened to the public). The Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM – SA/NT branch) had a booth with various activities and displays for School students and then over the weekend. We had volunteers from across the SA microbiology community and this included microbiology undergraduate and postgraduate students. In the planning, the setting up and across the extremely busy three days, a wonderful and enthusiastic time was had displaying and describing the importance and joys of microbiology.
Regarding Fellowship of the International Sepsis Forum (ISF: http://internationalsepsisforum.com/about-isf/).
Senior Medical Advisor, National Surveillance - AMR and Antibiotic Usage
On 15 July this year, Professor Chris Baggoley stepped down from his position as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Australia – a position he held for more than five years.
Professor Baggoley was an extremely effective CMO, who during his term of office had to deal with health crises ranging from silicone breast implants to Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS CoV), Ebola and Zika. Chris’s international profile is evidenced by his appointment as Chair of the WHO Emergency Committee on Middle-East respiratory syndrome, and as a member of the WHO Emergency Committee on Ebola and the International Agency on Research on Cancer.
Apart from dealing with major health emergencies, Chris made important contributions to Australia’s long-term health goals as a strong advocate for immunisation and strategies to deal with antimicrobial resistance.
Chris has been a good friend of the ASM. His friendly attitude and genuine interest endeared him to many of our student members. Chris recently gave an excellent public lecture as part of our Annual Scientific Meeting in Perth. This lecture clearly illustrated Chris’s great depth of experience, humility and composure, which made him such an effective CMO.
The ASM congratulates Chris on his outstanding period of service. We thank him for his many important contributions to improving the health of all Australians, and wish him all the best for the future.